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The interaction of sex and body mass index on ventilatory functions in school children



This study was designed to study the interaction of sex and BMI on ventilatory functions in Egyptian school children.


A cross-sectional study among the school children aged 8–12 years.

Patients and methods

Two hundred and nineteen normal children of both sexes (118 boys and 101 girls), their ages ranged between 8 and 12 years, were selected from one of the Egyptian governmental primary schools, Educational Administration, East Cairo, participated in this study. They were divided into two groups based on their BMI (low BMI 115 and normal BMI 104 consequently). Then each group was subdivided according to the sex (67 boys and 48 girls for low BMI subgroup while in normal BMI subgroup 51 boys and 53 girls were included). Anthropometric measurements were used to calculate the BMI. Ventilatory functions were measured using a spirometer.


The results revealed statistically significant interaction between the effect of sex and BMI on forced vital capacity (P≤0.0001), forced expiratory volume in the first second (P≤0.0001) and no statistically significant interaction on forced expiratory volume in the first second/forced vital capacity%(P=0.44). Furthermore, there was no difference between boys and girls among the measured ventilatory functions. Conclusion

There was an interaction between the effect of sex and BMI on ventilatory functions among Egyptian school children. Therefore, healthy nutrition and exercises are highly recommended in children with low BMI.


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Correspondence to Eman Wagdy PhD.

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Wagdy, E., Nasef, S. The interaction of sex and body mass index on ventilatory functions in school children. Bull Fac Phys Ther 24, 14–19 (2019).

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  • school children
  • spirometry
  • underweight
  • ventilatory functions